Brachiaria humidicola, a species adapted to poorly drained and infertile acid soils, is widely used throughout the tropics. Cytological characterization of 54 accessions of B. humidicola for breeding purposes revealed 2n = 36, 42, and 54 chromosomes. One accession (H030), with 2n = 42 chromosomes, showed a different meiotic behavior. In most accessions from the genus Brachiaria previously studied, the basic chromosome number is x = 9, but the putative basic number in H030 appears to be x = 6.
Brachiaria humidicola (Poaceae), originally from Africa, is an economically important pasture plant in tropical South America. An accession of B. humidicola (H038) collected from the wild African savanna (Mbeya, Tanzania) showed irregular microsporogenesis. This meiotic behavior was consistent with an allopolyploid origin. Multivalent chromosome association at diakinesis gave tri- to octavalents, associated with two nucleoli in some cells. Six non-congregated univalents in metaphase I and anaphase I, along with previous lines of evidence for x = 6 in B.
Microsporogenesis was evaluated in the Brachiaria humidicola collection of the Embrapa Beef Cattle Center, represented by 60 accessions. One accession (H121) presented an abnormal pattern of cytokinesis that had never been reported in this genus. Among 900 meiocytes analyzed in the first division, 10.7% underwent precocious and multiple cytokinesis in metaphase I, fractionating the genome and the cytoplasm into two or more parts. The expected cytokinesis after telophase I did not occur.